How to make your employees feel heard during their performance appraisal process

Implementing a post-appraisal feedback process as part of the performance management system.

26 Jul 2021 Articles Grievance handling Performance management Best practices

It is common that employees feel that they are not being heard by their managers during their performance appraisal despite the process being a two-way conversation to give and receive constructive feedback.  

While it is fairly common for a performance management system to have standards and KPIs to evaluate performance and clear goal setting for employees,  it is just as important to ensure that employees can safely voice their concerns or raise issues relating to their appraisal to their supervisors or HR when required, without any fear of reprisal.   

If the employees do not have a channel to highlight these concerns to the company, these concerns will eventually become a source of grievance and fester over time. These unresolved grievances will affect employees’ morale and motivation which may lead to an increased employee turnover, negatively impacting the organisation’s productivity and performance.

To prevent these grievances from taking root at the workplace, companies are encouraged to put in place a post-appraisal feedback process as part of the performance management system. This feedback process will give managers a chance to clarify or reiterate development points with their employees, and the clarification may also strengthen their working relationship.

As with a grievance handling procedure, the post-appraisal feedback process should be formalised, documented, and communicated to all employees while ensuring staff confidentiality is maintained at all times.

Above all, companies are encouraged to train managers and supervisors to conduct performance appraisals in a fair and objective manner, and to handle difficult (and sometimes sensitive) conversations regarding employees’ performance, or how to respond to negative feedback from their employees.

Companies that are able to do these well will not only build trust and maintain harmony but also create a safe and conducive environment for employees to work and thrive in.

For more information, refer to the Grievance Handling Handbook.